From the monthly archives:

June 2010

Nursing!

by Esther on Thu, Jun 24th, 2010

in Baby,Challenges,Month 2

So, I’ve been waiting and waiting for my newest nursing tanks to arrive in the mail.  I’ve been using Bravado tanks since he was born, but only ordered 2 of them.  Two tanks and one nursing bra?  Yeah.  3 options are not enough for me.  Wanna know why?

WELL!  I just got the tanks from Glamourmom in the mail this morning.  I tried them on and I like them OK, but they’re not perfect.  I can see the nipple cut out contour through the fabric and I really don’t like lines.  So I thought, I’ll think about this for just a minute.  I was torn between sending them back and ordering more Bravado tanks or just keeping them because I’ve been waiting SO long and the lines aren’t totally terrible.  I mean, I usually wear a cardigan or vest of some sort with my nursing tanks, anyhow.  I also thought I should try them out with some different breast pads to see how that looked.  So, I looked around the house for some breast pads, and then my kid started to squirm and squeak in his bouncy seat.  So I looked at my kid, and wow, he is SO SO cute.  Can you believe this cuteness?  I am just beside myself with baby joy when I look at this guy…

Joy

Anyhow, I take a look at this guy and get all fluttery inside because HE IS PERFECT AND AMAZING and I decide that he is going to sleep for a little bit longer while I find a breast pad and look at the lines in my tank top when BAM, I look down and this has happened….

I Guess I'm Keeping This Top

Milk everywhere.  Breast pads are no where to be found.  This top is going straight into the wash and staying in my wardrobe because there are no longer any other options.

And this is how nursing is going for me!  My fountain runnith over.  My faucets are constantly ON.  The tiny breasts that enjoyed so many lusty summers flying perky and free under scant, flimsy silk tops and camis have become mountains of femininity.  I can now make pornographic cleavage out of a rack that once only enjoyed a small “woopsie” when  part of the package popped cutely out of my itsy bitsy tini wini.

I have been trying and trying to go without breast pads all week because these fountains of mine are supposed to regulate by now… but, seriously, I don’t know if the fountain is ever going to stop.  I pumped yesterday after yoga because Milton feeds our dude with a bottle when I go to the gym.  My breasts were so soft when I was done that I could’ve sworn that I wouldn’t leak… but leak I did, just 5 minutes later.  And, honestly, I don’t have to look at my kid’s cuteness in order to spring a leak.   I am pretty sure that Savasana is an oxytocin inducing wonder because I run from class three times a week with two sand dollar sized circles on my tank.  I’ve even started bringing my cardigan into the yoga studio so that I can cover up as soon as the lights go on after class.

I realize that lots of woman have lots of problems with breast feeding, and I am SO thankful that my kid is feeding well enough that he seems to have doubled in size over the past 5 weeks.  But, man, as petty as it sounds, I sure wish I didn’t have to worry so darn much about wet spots in conspicuous areas.

UPDATE:   While I was finishing this entry, Axelrod woke up.  I nursed him.  I was then spit up on in rivulets half a dozen times while still wearing this same tank.  If any of you pregnant girls out there were to ask me, “How many nursing tanks should I get?”  my answer would be, “As many as you can afford, if your breasts and your kid are going to be anything like mine.”

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Swingers

by Milton on Tue, Jun 15th, 2010

in Baby,Baby Gear,Challenges,Design,Home,Month 1,Parenthood

Baby on one knee... iPad on the other.

With the exception of our nursing and napping enabler, the marvelous iPad, we’re both super sensitive to baby gear.  Most of it is junk.  I see it in the store and immediately visualize it in a landfill.  It’s pretty much all badly made molded plastic crap, and much of it requires a batteries.  Gross.  I cringe at the use of even a disposable water bottle or plastic shopping, so you can imagine how all of this other stuff makes me feel.

I tried to get around the baby gear issue by only registering for very few things and buying vintage.  The furniture I bought to house Axelrod’s little onesies and pajamas is midcentury stuff that matches all the blonde wood we have in our space, refinished a little with some fabric that will eventually translate well into his own room (someday, someday!).  Our pram is a fantastic mid-70s vintage.  We co-sleep when he’s not in the pram, and hope to totally avoid ever owning a crib.  The little books and toys we’ve gotten for him are stashed in bins on the blonde wood shelves.

The big, amazing, SUV style BOB stroller is the big item in one of our only big closets.  The ugly Graco infant seat was my one plastic concession in our living room, along with a vibrating chair that is on loan from another family.  We found that we could strap him into the car seat and rock the seat with our foot, creating a swing effect, OR put him in the vibrating chair.  They both work, depending on his mood.  I thought it’d hold out through the infant swing phase nicely.

And then he started to get fussy in ways that only a good rock would suffice.

He’s generally not a fussy guy.  He doesn’t cry unless he has a really good reason.  He cries when he’s hungry.  He fusses when his diaper needs changing.  He cries when he has gas.  The thing is, that whole gas issue?  Yeah.  That happens a LOT.  He’s always working something out, be it a man sized burp or a series of charming farts.  He grunts and pushes and cries.  I can’t blame him.  Digestion issues are the devil.  We use a little Gripe water from time to time, but this stuff certainly doesn’t put him down for a nap, hands free.

The thing about infants is that they get all worked up.  They’re happy and gorgeous and smiling, and then something will happen to tip the scales and you could be looking down a rocky road for the next few hours of family peace.  It’s not that he screams, really.  We are very fortunate to not have a baby with colic.  He just fusses.  He grunts.  He squeaks.  He squirms.  If it goes on for two long, the scales get tipped and his head gets all messy and refuses to sleep.  You’ve got to reset that baby brain with some white noise and swinging to lull him off to sleepy time, thereby lulling yourself off to some precious sleepy time.

For us, the worse time is in the morning.  It starts to happen any time from 4am to 6am and can sometimes (luckily not often) last until 2pm.  He starts to get gassy and he starts with the grunting and the squeaking.  Sometimes, this makes for parental shambles for the whole rest of the day.  A baby who nurses at midnight, 2, and 4 and then decides to be mostly awake until late morning or early afternoon makes for a parent who is trying to survive the day on only 2 hours of sleep.  Exhaustion makes everything worse.  We will start to snip at each other and argue about areas where we generally feel peaceful.  That’s not a pretty way for new parents to go!

Enter… my bratty foot stomping insistence on buying a baby swing.  I was lucky to have the backup of my mother and sister-in-law on the swing front.  They were all visiting- Milton was uncertain of this ugly plastic monstrosity, but it’s rather hard to argue in the face of so many mothers.  Our family needed a swing- it was decided.  We headed to a local baby gear consignment shop and put our fussy baby into some of the ugliest swings I’ve ever seen to test them out.  In the end, Milton and I decided to come away with the cheapest one.  His sister used the same model for her little girl, and it worked for her, that was good enough reason for us!  We bought it and brought it home.  My mother sent me to bed for a much needed nap and commanded absolute silence from my very young sisters and step-father.  She scrubbed the swing while I slept.  It now looks practically new and now doesn’t have that sweetly rancid other-people’s-baby smell that I associate with day care centers and baby consignment shops.  Phew.

Today is the first day we’re getting to test the swing.  His little head flops around a little in it, so I’ve got him supported with an adorable purple elephant that a good friend of ours knit.  I put him in that swing when he was grunting, squeaking, and badly in need of a nap… and he went down for the count.  After 10 minutes, I moved him to his pram for a proper sleep and breathed a sigh of relief.

The swing will go right back to that consignment shop in a few months.  Our living room will look worse for the wear in the meantime, but we three will get some sleep in the meantime.  We’ve learned that a sleepy baby by day means a sleepy baby by night… so I don’t doubt he’ll be lulled to many naps in this thing.

Once he grows a little more and can focus on some different things, I’ll tell you all about the ugly playcenter hand-me-down that was dubbed by it’s previous owner as the “Neglector 1000.”  We’ll use that thing (currently stashed under the couch) and pass that right along to the next baby, too.

In baby world, the fussbucket motto must be, “By Any Means”. Even if those means are plastic.

{ 8 comments }

Family Week, day 3

by Esther on Fri, Jun 11th, 2010

in Month 1

It’s family week in our household!  My folks are visiting with my two very much younger sisters.  Milton’s sister, niece, and mum will be here on Saturday!  We will also be visited by an illustrious “uncle” on Saturday.

(Sadly, there is so much going on on Saturday that we’ll have to miss the party being thrown to end the long run of our local peep show.  The Lusty Lady is the latest victim of our bad economy- dozens of store fronts are closed in our neighborhood.)

We are settling a sort of routine here.  The Witching Hour is real and very much so upon us.  Thankfully, we don’t have a baby with colic!  We just have a gassy baby.  He needs to be burped multiple times after each feeding.  The only times he really cries are when he either needs to spit up or nurse, so it’s easy at this point to figure out how to soothe him.  The nurse cry is very distinct from the spit cry.  The nurse cry is a helpless wail.  Upon hearing it, my breasts wail right along with him, sometimes messing the floor, my shirt, or (very often) my infant’s face.  The gas cry, on the other hand, involves a whole lot of grunting and squeaking between frustrated cries.  I like to equate the gas cry with my pregnancy digestion issues.  If only I could stuff 5 Papaya Enzyme pills into our dude’s mouth and call it a day instead of trying, often without success, to catch every stream of spit up that projects out from his mouth.

The biggest familial loss to the gas grunt and squeak is that of the sleep variety.  He seems to go down pretty well between 11 and 4, waking once for a feeding.  After 4 he sleeps for a while, but spends most of this sleep time grunting and squeaking on and on and on.  As he sleeps right between us, there’s not much I can do to get sleep myself.  Too much noise from him fakes me into thinking he’s wanting to nurse too often.  There’s a part of me that thinks this grunting and squeaking might cut co-sleeping off a little early… and there’s a part of my heart that would just break to have to put him down without us.  He sleeps much better cuddled up to his mom or his dad.

Milton has just gone against my wishes and woken Axelrod up.  He seems to think he can soothe him after a 3 hour nap without a boob, but my boobs know better.  I gotta go!

Grandparents!

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I’m afraid I haven’t been keeping up with my baby blogging since our guy was born!  I admit to having been busy.  It seems that the usual time it takes to get anything done must be multiplied by 10 when you are caring for an infant.  Whereas my afternoons at home prior to baby-time would see me cleaning the house, playing dress up, going to a yoga class, blogging, drinking wine, etc… my afternoons now are a great success if I can see the house clean, get the dishes done, do the laundry, bathe, bathe our son, find clothes that fit me (impossible), find clothes that fit our son, and go for a walk.  All this happens only with 50% of the effort coming from my husband, who is a champion.  Honestly, I don’t understand how single moms do this job!

I have a lot of posts in my head about lots of baby related things.  Maybe, at some point, I’ll get some of the posts out.  For now, I’m leaving the bulk of family blogging up to my husband.  He is keeping a blog under our son’s domain, where he writes a little bit about our baby’s firsts, every day.  We decided to keep this blog password protected because there’s no telling what our small fry is going to think about internet privacy issues in the future.  Milton and I are obviously pretty open people…. you wouldn’t have to look very hard to uncover our real names- and once you had those you would find a couple of professional blogs, hobby blogs, even private journal blogs that were started long, long ago.  You would find open Facebook profiles and profiles to every other social networking site that ever got popular.  But, there comes a time when you have to ask yourself how your son will feel when his first girlfriend googles his name and finds old entries about his baby acne online.  As we don’t know just how self-conscious he’ll feel, we’ve decided to keep his personal logistics a little bit separate.

Of course, I can talk about baby generals right here!  And I will, between nursing, sleeping, and trying to hold our stuff together.

Currently, our little man is wrapped snug in his Moby Wrap across my tummy.  He seems happiest when he’s being worn.  He’ll sleep for a good long strapped to our chests and bellies while while we take him for walks or eat out at a restaurant.  Today is the first day I figured out the Moby well enough to sit in front of the computer with it.  Baby wearing is a plus for both of us.  Milton loves dading him down; I love moming him down.  Sometimes we argue a little about who gets to have the baby wearing fun.  It’s a beautiful thing to have a warm little snugglepants snuzzler so close to your heart.

Axelrod also loves the following, in no particular order:

  • Bouncing on the ball (best reserved for the witching hour and other intense times)
  • Bathing with his father (this wins my award for cutest)
  • Smelling the basil (this startles his senses to silence when he’s in the middle of a cry)
  • Playing peek-a-boo (makes him smile, BIGTIME!)
  • Having his cheeks stroked (more safe baby smiles)
  • Having his neck kissed (ahh, sugar!)
  • Hanging upside down (see below photo)

Of course his #1 favorite thing, ever, is breast feeding.  I must say, it’s also my #1 favorite thing.  No matter how much it exhausts me (especially when he hit his 3 week growth spurt, geez!), I am thankful for all that special face time with my boy.  It’s a pretty wonderful thing to be such a provider for someone you love in such an epic way.

I’ll report more very soon!  Axelrod is 11lbs, 9ozs (!!!!!!), and has been social smiling since week two (GENIUS).  I am honestly trying not to miss any of this miraculous process.  I don’t want to forget a thing, which means that I might remember a good 50% if I try real hard.

This guy's perspective.

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